Firefox's original claim to fame was that it didn't support ActiveX controls like Internet Explorer does. As a result, it wasn't as easy to get viruses and other malware from malicious websites. Also, when it first came out, Firefox offered features IE didn't have then (such as tabbed browsing). It was leaner and faster than IE. But later versions of Firefox have (in my opinion) gotten bloated, and (I hate to say it about a Microsoft product) IE has improved its operation. I'm not sure that changing from IE to Firefox is the big deal it used to be, unless you just want to get away from Microsoft.
You can read all about Firefox at their site here
. If you decide you want to try it, you just have to click the download tab, install the program and start using it. There's no reason you can't have both browsers on your computer so you can compare them.
As for the computer being slow, your browser won't help that. The browser is just a program that displays web pages, but doesn't have anything to do with the routine operation of your computer. The slow computer is an issue that needs to be taken care of separately.
There are several things that can make your computer slow. Number one is memory (RAM). If your computer is a few years old, it may have as little as 256MB or 512MB of RAM. This is barely enough to let Windows run, and it's all the manufacturers used to install. If your computer doesn't already have it, you should consider installing at least 1GB or more if the system board supports it. Giving more memory to Windows is the easiest way to gain some speed since it lets Windows work more efficiently.
There's also a chance you have some malware at work on your computer. Slow operation and weird behavior when online are often signs that something's running that shouldn't be. A program like MalwareBytes' Anti-Malware
can scan for and probably remove anything nasty.
Some general housekeeping would probably help a bit. Uninstalling unused applications, cleaning out temporary files and your browser cache and defragmenting your hard drive are all helpful maintenance steps. BleepingComputer.com, a site devoted to helping get rid of malware, has this page
which explains some of the causes of and fixes for a slow computer.
As a last resort, you can reinstall your original factory software if you have a recovery disc set, or put on a fresh copy of Windows. Sometimes, if your computer has been infected with something, or something in Windows has gotten badly corrupted, it's the only way to completely repair the system. But it's inconvenient since you lose everything, which is why it's the last resort.
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